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Eskom crushes weekend load shedding fears

Eskom says it has no plans to roll out more load shedding this weekend.

Eskom's Megawatt Park offices in Sunninghill. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom says it has no plans to roll out more load shedding this weekend.

However officials maintain the situation is still unpredictable and have called for reduced power use.

Yesterday, the power utility rolled out stage one load shedding across the country.

The power utility was forced to implement load shedding several times last year due to limited generating capacity, problems at some power stations and technical issues.

However the blackouts came to an early end due to Eskom's ability to recover generation capacity faster than anticipated.

This week's unstable grid has been blamed on ageing generators which went offline yesterday causing a 5 percent loss of total capacity.

Spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe says consumers will be given enough notice if load shedding is implemented this weekend.

"We're operating a very unreliable power system and sometimes we have situations where initially there was a good system then out of the blue there are a number of units going out, however, we haven't planned for load shedding over the weekend."

ESKOM CAN'T COPE WITHOUT ADDITIONAL POWER STATIONS

The parastatal said it doubled its maintenance over the festive season but its efforts have fallen short of ruling out load shedding this year.

Although it has since stabilised, rolling blackouts are expected in the near future.

Eskom managed to make it through the festive season without implementing load-shedding, something many South Africans feared.

The utility's Andrew Etzinger said the company's technical team spent most of December maintaining existing power stations.

The power giant on Tuesday confirmed that one unit at the Medupi Power Station will go live in mid-2015 despite a missed December deadline.